Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of streamlining the content, site architecture and links of a website to produce relevant signals to search engines. These signals of relevance in turn augment the website to produce higher organic positions for related keywords and key phrases in the search engines index.
Search engines assess the degree of that orderliness to assign weight and relevance to the various semantic nodes housed within the context of those pages and site segments to determine the topical theme of the website.
Search engines use a structured process for parsing and identifying semantic term weights for individual pages within a website. These term weights “the sites topical theme” can convey authority on a topic based on the co-occurrence matrix of related keywords and descriptive words (known as keyword modifiers) used in the context of the pages.
If your website lacks these signals and has no distinguishable continuity or intent, it is difficult for search engines to dissect the relevance inherent within your pages. This in turn results in sub-par rankings or lackluster search engine results page (SERP) performance.
To gain context, search engines assess the local and global characteristics of a website and pages, and then use a scoring method based on peer review (references from other sites) as well as on page considerations.
The “on page considerations” such as the continuity between the title, content, the ratio of content to a subject (keyword saturation), internal links linking to and from that page, as well as inbound links from other sites to assess the degree of significance those keywords represent.
By viewing these signals holistically, search engines assign a value known as relevance score to the page in question. When individuals conduct a search query in a search engine (much like a game of concentration) search engines match those keywords (known as shingles) to all of the documents in their index through a process called inverse document frequency.
This process cross references contextual words, phrases and assigned meanings and compiles a list of the top 1000 pages containing the least imperfect condition represented in the query. The least significant signal is at the end of the line (10 pages away) and the most relevant page in the index is rewarded with the #1 position.
Through a process of elimination and cloud computing (to aid retrieval time), search engines use cloud computing “information stored or processed across various inter-linked computers” to deliver a relevant match with the most significance, relevance and authority on a topic.
Based on the structure and organization of the topics within your website determines how each page is ranked within their index. This is why websites which utilize logical site architecture as a hierarchical point of reference can quickly and easily convey relevance across thousands of keyword simultaneously.
The process of sorting and structuring your website based on hierarchical semantic nodes allows a website to become buoyant with a mere fraction of the links or off page factors employed by competitors to rank in the same respective positions.
This means that your website can produce its own inherent ranking factor in addition to stemming into lucrative cross compatible and obtuse themes over time.
There is a method of improving your respective ranking and position through a process called theming through siloing. In other words, creating topical funnels as the parent theme and then using subordinate related content housed under that theme to express related synonyms, and equivocal keyword combinations.
If your theme is shoes for example, then you would use that as the basis for your primary silo. A silo means related pages in a subfolder or sub domain to consolidate topical ranking factor.
Given the example above the main landing page should (a) incorporate all of the keywords in the silos and (b) receive a link from all child pages in the silo to cement an authoritative topical apex.
Shoes> Dress Shoes> Running Shoes> Designer Shoes> Pumps> Heels> Flats> would comprise your primary navigation. Under those categories/sub folders, you would then place the respective brands, makes and models or variations of each (using keyword rich urls like affordable-running-shoes.html / 3-inch-black-designer-pumps.html, etc.) based on their topical alignment and category.
Then by building deep links to the various sub pages (links from other sites specifically to those pages), the parent theme becomes more pronounced and buoyant (capable of devouring an entire market segment).
As a result of the synergy of the content, each page (like a daisy chain) works to aid the next page and reinforce the theme. A website is capable of ranking its own pages based on the significance and continuity of the interlinking, co-occurrence and logical structure inherent in a themed and siloed website.
Eventually, each segment of theme may have hundreds of pages or products housed within their silos; creating the ability for each page to rank for an array of keywords present on the pages.
This is where site architecture and SEO copywriting (optimized content) determine the degree of the digital footprint your website has and just how broad or specific the rankings for the keywords contained in the theme and silo are.
Suggested Reading from SEO Design Solutions™:
- SEO Tips for Theming and Siloing
- WordPress SEO Tips Implementing Theming and Siloing
- Theme Density – The Ultimate SEO Ranking Factor